Hidden dangers in Trump peace plan embrace false Palestinian narrative, says right-wing journalist

Journalist Hagai Segal says that while Trump’s peace team is pro-Israel, their economic plan shows they have adopted the Palestinian victimhood narrative.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

One of the leaders of the right-wing camp in Israel has publicly rejected the economic part of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” that was discussed last week in a conference in Bahrain.

Calling it “a mixture of primeval sympathy for Israel with a flattery of political correctness,” Hagai Segal, editor of Makor Rishon, attacked the premise underlying the American plan in Sunday’s paper.

The U.S. president’s point men on the Middle East, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, “are still assuming that the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) is Palestinian territory,” he charged. “Even the most pro-Israel administration in history is also devoted to the narrative of the Israeli occupation and the oppressed Palestinians.”

The details of the economic plan reflect that they have now “formally adopted” that narrative, according to Segal, who gave several examples that he says proves his point.

These include the fact that the half a million Jews who live in Judea and Samaria aren’t even mentioned in the plan.

“Only the Arabs are depicted as having rights in ‘the West Bank,’” he writes. “They would receive … a commitment to give them legal aid in land disputes, the possibility of expanding at the expense of Area C, the construction of an autonomous transportation route between Judea and Samaria and Gaza at the expense of sovereign Israel, and even insurance against war damages.”

“It reminds one of the madness of Shimon Peres. The New Middle East 2,” Segal said, referring to the late Israeli president’s book outlining his utopian vision of what the region would look like after the Oslo Accords were signed.

Segal added that those in Israel who have seen parts of the as-yet-unrevealed political part of the deal are worried.

“It’s expected that their plan will recognize the classic settlement blocs, but include the Benjamin region in the painful Israeli concessions,” he said. “They also adopt the Obama administration’s stubborn opposition to construction in E1.”

The E1 zone is a few square miles of land between eastern Jerusalem and the city of Ma’ale Adumim, where building has been frozen for at least a decade due to international pressure.

Critics of Jewish building say it would cut the part of Jerusalem that Palestinians claim for a capital from the rest of the planned Palestinian state. However, Israel argues that illegal Arab building in the area, which falls completely under Israeli control according to the Olso accords, endangers Israel’s territorial integrity, as E1 falls along a major transportation artery connecting Israel’s north and south.

“Judging by the economic part of the famous deal,” he summed up, “[Kushner and Greenblatt] don’t have the courage to put a final axe to the anthology of Palestinian lies and stories of the occupation.”